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Samsung CEO Kwon Oh-hyun steps down
14 October 2017, 12:42 | Lorenzo Hawkins
Samsung Electronics CEO Kwon Oh-Hyun Resigns, Says Company is Facing an 'Unprecedented Crisis'
"As we are confronted with unprecedented crisis inside and out, I believe that time has now come for the company to start anew, with a new spirit and young leadership to better respond to challenges arising from the rapidly changing IT industry", he added. We're not talking about the company's self-described "dismal state", or another Galaxy Note device gone up-in-flames, or the tech-giant's latest debacle, which saw its chairman Lee Jae-yong imprisoned for five years following his sentencing on charges of bribery, corruption, and perjury.
Kwon, a semiconductor engineer, has met with President Moon Jae-in and attended events both at home and overseas since Lee was detained in February on corruption charges.
Samsung has had a long tradition of stressing crisis even in good times for the business.
Kwon's resignation announcement arrived the same day that Samsung predicted record profits for the second straight quarter.
"Now, the company needs a new leader more than ever and it is time for me to move to the next chapter of my life", Kwon said.
Despite what Kwon characterizes as a management "crisis", Samsung is doing pretty well financially.
In its earnings preview on Friday, Samsung put its July-September operating profit at 14.5 trillion won ($12.8 billion), compared with 5.2 trillion won ($4.6 billion) a year earlier.
Samsung expects to pull in 62 trillion won ($54.9 billion) in revenue and 14.5 trillion won ($12.8 billion) in profit for the three months ending September 30, a near 300% increase in profit compared to the same period a year ago.
Kwon Oh Hyun announced his retirement on October 13. The company is also expected to generate 62 trillion won or $54.7 billion in revenue.
"The company has been riding a global semiconductor boom", he said, adding the semiconductor business alone is believed to have contributed 10 trillion won to the operating profit. Doh Hyun-woo, analyst at Mirae Asset Daewoo Securities Co., said in a report that the release of new models, including the iPhone X by rival Apple Inc., could weigh on Samsung's mobile sales, but will also help its smartphones parts business.
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